Happy Herbivore Blog

March 5, 2012

Minimalist Monday: My Sister

The Minimalist Monday series is back by popular demand! I constantly get questions asking when it would be coming back. The first post is from my sister Courtney about how a minimalist life found her. Below is her story.

I've never been much of a minimalist, although I never really needed to. I've always been very good about maximizing the space I have. When you maximize space, it's hard to be a minimalist because stuff is everywhere. 

In my last house, I used ever square inch of cabinet space available, including the top of the cabinets. I had a salad spinner, 2 steamers, a crock-pot and some of my cast iron cookware on top of my cabinets. I even kept my empty storage containers on top of the fridge to save space. Yes, this means I had a lot of stuff.

I wouldn't call myself a pack rat, if something was broken or I hadn't used it in over a year I would throw it away (I'm not talking about seasonal items, I mean keeping things like 2 steamers because sometimes I use them both). But if I used just 1 time in the past year, I would still hold onto it. Ok, maybe I am a little bit of a pack rat.

Did I need 2 steamers? No, but I didn't see a reason to get rid of one of them. I didn't need to. I had moved from place to place over the years, and always managed to accumulate more stuff and I always had space for it. While I wasn't moving into a bigger house, I was learning how to make everything fit in the space I had. I was very organized. I even had a bin under my bed of seasonal clothes that I would swap out in my closet depending on the time of the year.

All that has changed in the past several months thanks to me moving (practically) in with Lindsay. I went from my 'permanent' modest house to renting a 'temporary' room from someone. I say permanent because when I moved there I didn't foresee moving again anytime soon, and I knew moving here would only be for 6 months.

This temporary living situation really threw me at first. What would I need to bring? What would I need to store? What do I need to get ride of? It meant I had to minimalize my belongings into those 3 categories. I was scared, but once I got started, it was easier than I expected, and Goodwill got truck loads of nice stuff.

Renting a room from someone is a new experience for me and it has forced me to minimalize. I don't have my 2 steamers or my excessive clothes, and I don't miss them. It has been an new experience for me. Spending everyday with Lindsay and seeing her minimalist lifestyle has really help put things in perspective for me.

I now live out of 5 dresser drawers worth of clothes and 3 jackets. I wear the same one almost everyday. There is a relaxing feeling knowing I don't have all those choices to pick from that I did before and I spend less time getting ready in the morning.

Having purged all that stuff that I never really used has made me feel better and I feel like a weight that I didn't know I had has been lifted off my shoulders.

Knowing that I will be getting a place of my own soon, I'm going to keep this new found minimalist life that I've found. Or should I say has found me.

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